I thought my issues with low self-esteem would be ok during the current lockdown. Surely not having to go out as much, and therefore not being anxious about what other people think of me to anywhere near the same extent as normal, would improve things? Sadly, that hasn’t necessarily been the case as I haven’t exactly used the current situation as a springboard to more exercise, healthier eating, less drinking and increased productivity. Quite the opposite in fact, where all 4 of those are concerned. This reached a peak just last night as, while the rest of the house was safely tucked up in bed and I cracked open yet another beer, I realised this can’t continue. There’ll be a specific post on that in a few weeks but at that specific point last night, at around midnight, I felt low, uninspired and full of self-loathing. Thankfully, I had the One World: Together at Home concert playing and I soon snapped out of that melancholy by thinking of all the good that is emerging from this hideous situation. There is certainly plenty to admire right now.
True, a few high-profile individuals haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory since Coronavirus changed all our lives – step forward Tim Martin, Mike Ashley, Richard Branson, and Donald Trump to name but a few and take a nice slow bow – but, in the main, we’re really seeing kindness, compassion, and togetherness come to the fore right now.
We’re seeing it with celebrities. We’ve seen Lady Gaga arranged the current One World: Together at Home concert to raise funds for the World Health Organisation and a huge number of musicians have contributed. We’ve seen celebrities such as George Clooney, the members of U2, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Ryan Reynolds, Roger Federer, Taylor Swift, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James McAvoy and many, many others donate significant sums of money to the cause. Closer to home, we’ve seen Carol Vorderman offer her online maths school for free to help those attempting to home-school children of primary school age. We’ve seen Joe Wicks prompting hundreds of thousands to start the day in the right manner with his 9am weekday workouts. Not only is he setting a wonderful example to our children, but he’s donating the money earned to the NHS. We’ve seen Jenny ‘The Vixen’ Ryan host an online quiz which raised £10,000 in much needed funds for Bolton Hospice. We’ve seen Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs closetheir two two Manchester hotels and offer the rooms to NHS staff, free of charge. There are no doubt thousands more examples which I’m not aware of. Yes, there will always be critics who will say that these people are only doing it for publicity and to massage their oversized egos but that is a quintessentially British character trait I have no time for. Just for once, in this current climate, let’s try to see the good in people and agree that all the names listed above are doing this because they genuinely care and want to contribute. The same applies to the Premier League footballers who have kindly donated percentages of their salaries to the cause, though I won’t expand on that any further as I don’t want this to turn into a political rant…
We’re also seeing it in everyday people who are doing their bit to raise much needed funds or provide much needed supplies for our frontline workers. Clearly the magnificent Captain Tom Moore is the stand-out example at the moment and rightly so, though a cursory glance at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or local news reports will highlight the amazing efforts of so many inspired people who right now are raising much needed funds, providing essential supplies, or simply doing their bit to raise the spirits of the nation.
We’re also seeing it in everyday people who are essential workers. Yes, these wonderful people who selflessly continue to keep our country going are currently highly regarded (as they should be all the time) but let’s be honest – we can’t praise them enough, can we? Our NHS staff, care workers, supermarket workers, other small businesses which remain open to supply our essentials (butchers, greengrocers, dairy farmers etc), post men and women, refuse collectors, delivery drivers, teachers, local government frontline staff and support services, window cleaners, street cleaners, and no doubt many other professions I’ll have carelessly omitted here (apologies if that is the case…) are all doing a magnificent job whilst facing a greater level of risk than the rest of us. I’ve always said that the most important people in the organisation I work for are the cleaners as if every employee stopped doing their job for a few days, theirs would be the first contribution we’d notice had ceased. Let’s hope all these professions are held in equally high regard for years to come and not just during this time of crisis.
We’re also seeing it in everyday people who live on every street in every town and do wonderful unsung things on a daily basis. They’re taking to the streets to applaud our NHS and care workers every Thursday. They’re looking out for neighbours who might be in need of assistance or shopping supplies. They’re calling elderly relatives more often to make sure everything is ok. They’re realising that kids need a warm, safe, comforting home more than anything else right now. They’re worrying together. They’re crying together. They’re trying to make light of an awful situation together. They’re laughing together. Most importantly, they’re ensuring their friends and family are doing ok and getting through this. They’re appreciating the simple yet vitally important things in life more than ever and that can only be a good thing moving forward.
When I sit back and think of all the above, it makes me realise that my own insecurities and lack of self-esteem shouldn’t really matter. It makes me realise that the vast majority of people are decent and caring and will look for the positive qualities in others, appreciating that it genuinely is what is on the inside that counts. It makes me realise that I’m certainly not alone in noticing that in these desperate times, we truly are seeing the inherent good in people. Long may that continue.
Thanks for reading, stay calm and, as always, take care.